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When the decision is made to remove a tattoo, we know you want it gone as soon as possible. Yesterday would be GREAT! Sadly, tattoo removal is a process. On average it takes between 5 and 10 treatments to completely remove a tattoo. Some homemade tattoos can take fewer treatments, while some dense, professional tattoos may take more. Laser treatments are spaced about 4-8 weeks apart in the beginning. Toward the end of the removal process, treatments may be spread further apart.
Why is that much time between treatments necessary? First and foremost, the body needs time to heal between treatments. When you first got the tattoo, it took a few weeks or more for the skin to heal. It will take about the same amount of time for the skin to heal after laser treatment. Also note that the skin often appears healed on the surface, but could still be healing underneath. For that reason, it is best to wait a full four weeks or more between treatments as treating too soon could cause the laser treatments to be more uncomfortable. Also treating over unhealed skin, could increase the potential for scaring.
Second, your immune system needs time to flush out the ink that is shattered during laser treatments. Remember it is your immune system that actually does the removal, but it needs the laser to break up the ink into manageable sized particles. The immune system is also responsible for healing the skin. When the immune system is working on multiple tasks at one time, it tends to work more slowly on “less critical” jobs, in this case that would be removing shattered ink. Allowing more time after the skin appears healed, allows for the immune system to focus more attention to removing the shattered ink. According to experts who do tattoo removal in Jacksonville Beach, FL and tattoo removal in Beckley, WV, more time between treatments could allow you to see more fading from one treatment to the next.